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Walmart, Burberry learn from Disney


burberry regent stOf his plan for Disneyland, Walt Disney said: “I just want it to look like nothing else in the world. And it should be surrounded by a train”.

Disney’s enduring legacy is fuelled by an irrepressible belief in the power of creative vision to shape today, tomorrow, and beyond.

With continued change and disruption across the retail landscape, this insight offers a clue to thriving in our new retail world.

More than ever, we must harness a compelling creative vision in order to galvanise internal focus and shape external opportunity.

In a 2010 study, Ernst & Young concluded that “the ability to manage, organise, cultivate, and nurture creative thinking is directly linked to growth and achievement”.

Creativity, executed with clarity and consistency, drives new and unique value for customers and greater commercial return for retailers.

Here’s a look at how some of the best retailers are using creative vision today to manifest new forms of value for their customers.

Walmart: Vision beyond limits

Walmart’s e-commerce research division, @WalmartLabs, fuses retail, social, and mobile to breathe new creative possibility, agility, and beta thinking into the retail juggernaut.

One recent initiative was “Goodies Co” – a subscription based food service that enabled shoppers to try a unique mix of seasonal foods.

If they liked them, they could then buy the full size version from the Goodies Co website.

As these were items not ranged in Walmart stores, it created a sense of discovery and delight for customers, and an opportunity to spot food trends and drive word of mouth for the business.

Burberry: Marrying luxury and heritage

In the past seven years, British retailer, Burberry, has nearly tripled the size of its business by marrying its 150 year luxury heritage with a new digital core.

Its now famous ‘walk in website’ flagship creates added value for customers by embedding technology into every part of their brand experience.

This includes Burberry’s iconic trench coats, where RFID tags enable customers to go deeper into heritage and craftsmanship through rich video content.

Burberry regent st

Selfridges: Challenging customer experiences

Despite being sold long ago by the Selfridge family, the original creative vision of this retailer lives on: to surprise, amaze, and amuse customers via extraordinary experiences.

This vision came to life in 2013 through its denim studio, a 26,000sqft store ranging more than 11,000 pairs of jeans, and world class services, such as the interactive ‘Jeanius’ bar.

For Christmas, Selfridges has launched an all-encompassing offer; from an ice rink and bespoke services and product ranges, to a click and collect driveway service.

It has also launched Elfridges: a dedicated team of staff on hand to solve every gift giving woe at Christmas.

Toms: One for one concept

Founded in 2006, Toms centres its business model on a one for one concept. For every pair of shoes bought, it donates a new pair of shoes to a child in need.

Toms’ latest retail platform comes in the form of Toms Marketplace.

This platform is a curated collection of 200 socially conscious products from 30 different companies, all of which incorporate giving back into their business model.

TOMS website shoes

Fuelled by its engine room of imagination, foresight, and innovation, creative vision serves to inspire business direction and brand purpose in new and differentiated ways.

This ultimately helps retailers re-imagine possibilities for shoppers and blaze new pathways.

With mounting competitive pressure and category fragmentation, it’s critical that we help shoppers know why they should buy into our brands.

Creative vision can help us achieve this.

Caroline Ghatt is planning director (brand and retail) at Leo Burnett Sydney. She works on shopper insights and retail activations for Caltex, McDonald’s, and Canon.

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